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Old 11-03-2014, 16:01   #121
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

David,
The best answer to your question is:
a) either trust the guys doing the work for you, to do it correctly and watch 'em do as much as possible...
...or....
b) do it all yourself...

I had assumed that you were doing it all yourself, so that's what ALL of my earlier recommendations were based on...
Now, with this new information, I'm honestly not sure what to write / recommend....(as I find it difficult to give advice to unknown/unseen other professionals)

But, in a nutshell...
Usually the "hassle" factor makes most just use a good quality RG-213/u, and this is always a good choice...and that IS my recommendation for you...


If, however you choose to use LMR-400uf, I recommend:
a) using a Times connector (an "N"-male connector) and an "N"-female to ""UHF"-male/PL-259 adapter....(NO there will be NO adverse effect from this arrangement)...
And, make sure your "pro's" know exactly how to assemble these cables/connectors
....or....
b) buy, known-good, and guaranteed, pre-made cable assemblies from Texas Towers, etc....

For LMR-400uf cable / connectors....
http://www.timesmicrowave.com/downlo...LMR-400-UF.pdf

And, for LMR-400uf in bulk, and connectors...
Times Microwave LMR-400UF 3/8" UltraFlex Coax Cbl | TESSCO

https://www.tessco.com/products/disp...uggestion=true



{BTW, I think getting as much of the little parts and pieces arranged and on-site ahead of time is a GREAT way to get things done...and done properly and on-time...
And, in this particular case, trying to use poor-quality connectors and/or not having the correct connectors would be a nightmare of a problem....and likely you'd not know it until 1000's of miles away, when the VHF antenna system failed..}



So, with all that in mind...
My overall recommendation is USE BELDEN or DAVIS or COMMSCOPE or TIMES RG-213/u.....and ONLY Amphenol sliver-plated PL-259's....
Unless you can be sure of the install, there's no sense trying to squeeze out one last db!!!


And, for others here that may be interested in pre-made, known-good and guaranteed, LMR-400uf cable assemblies....
Have a look here...
Texas Towers, Coax Jumpers Page


I hope this helps..

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 11-03-2014, 16:28   #122
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

There are two places in Oriental, NC that I have found, and both seem to be very specialized in installations. Seacoast Marine Electronics does installations of VHF/SSB radios and has worked on many Calibers before, so I am fairly confident that they will be able to do a correct installation. When I talked to the owner of the boatyard (Sailcraft Service) in Oriental, he told me that they would encourage me to be on the boat at all times during the installations as they were a smaller yard. I planned on living aboard during the installations, so I am going to be there 24/7.

That being said, stick with the 213? I'd like to future-proof the boat as much as possible, and don't mind paying a little extra for the LMR-400. I have decided to heed your advice and I think I'll end up going with a SS whip on the masthead and arch. There are a few bridges back in FL that are 65 ft. and I don't want to risk not being able to go underneath them.

I have contacted the VHF installer in Oriental to see what he thinks of everything I've chosen for the install.

Once again, thanks for putting up with my amateurism!
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Old 12-03-2014, 16:24   #123
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

John, regarding the SSB RF ground, you said that a bronze through-hull would be one of the better options. I have just finished reading through the quick-start guide to SSB installation from Dockside Radio, and it talks a lot about Dynaplate ground. From everything I've read on CF, it seems people are saying that the Dynaplate is somewhat overkill and unnecessary. I am still on the fence about the KISS grounding system, but I am curious as to the setup of the bronze through-hull ground. Is it basically the size of a depth transducer? I would rather do that than have a big bronze plate on the bottom of my hull.
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Old 12-03-2014, 19:10   #124
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

David,
1) First off, I use two BIG Dynaplates (18" x 6", each) on my current boat, connected to my tuners "grd" lug by 8' length of 6" wide heavy copper strapping...
See photo...




I have also used Dynaplates on other boats (although usually just one!), over the years....
My first experience with them was when assisting in my first SSB radio installation (unpaid "go for") back in 1973, when I was a teenager...




2) I always recommend the largest surface area contact with the sea water, that you can fit and afford....NOT because you need a supper large surface area, but mainly because this allows for decent contact/connection to the sea to be maintained even if there is some fouling / growth on the plate...

Also, please understand that there is NO proof what-so-ever that a "sintered bronze" plate (aka Dynaplate) provides any better RF current conductivity to the sea water than a solid bronze plate....
Personally, there is a possibility that it does work better when new/clean, but after that I have doubts that there is any difference at all...
So, whether you use a "Dynaplate" or solid bronze plate (bought at a metal shop, etc.), it will probably make little/no real difference...

The convenience of the pre-made Dynaplate, cannot be denied....with its beveled edges, and counter-sunk mounting holes....as well as bronze bolts, nuts, and washers...AND one set of "gold-plated" bronze bolts, nuts, and washers....and plates of various sizes available....
It's not a bad product....
It's expensive (and some say over-priced), but it is a good product...

BTW, ignore/forget any reference to the "100 sq ft of copper", etc...this is nonsense, and of no importance here....


{Finally...if like me, your boat uses Marelon thru-hulls, an underwater bronze plate is about the only way to accomplish a good RF ground direct seaater connection...
....the only underwater metal I have is: 9600lbs of lead keel (quite a ways away from my tuner/backstay)....and 1.5" dia SS prop shaft, and 21" dia Autoprop, and my SS shaft strut (NOT a good RF ground, but decent DC ground)....so, for my current boat an underwater bronze plate (or 2) for my RF ground was a necessity...}




3) Others have found, good success with just using a bronze thru-hull as their underwater RF ground connection...
Everyone from Gordon West, to btrayfors, to Auspicious, etc. have been posting/publishing of good results from use of bronze thru-hulls for years...

The only negatives of using the bronze thru-hull, are:
a) difficulty in making a good low-impedance/low-loss connection between the copper strapping and the bronze thru-hull (Dave has posted a good way to do it, as have others....it just takes a bit of work/effort to do it right...)

b) difficulty in keeping the darn thing clean of growth/fouling (you do NOT paint it, so it does need to be cleaned....this is an advantage of the larger plate vs. the thru-hull...)

c) difficulty in finding a suitable bronze thru-hull close enough to where your remote tuner is located....the closer the better!! (ideally within 5' - 6'...no more than 8' - 10'!!)

I hope the above explains things pretty well...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
regarding the SSB RF ground, you said that a bronze through-hull would be one of the better options. I have just finished reading through the quick-start guide to SSB installation from Dockside Radio, and it talks a lot about Dynaplate ground. From everything I've read on CF, it seems people are saying that the Dynaplate is somewhat overkill and unnecessary.
So, while I recommend a Dynaplate, if you do have an appropriate bronze thru-hull, the Dynaplate can be thought of as unnecessary....it depends on your boat and set-up...
As for "overkill"...in my opinion, no not overkill if you have Marelon thru-hulls (like I do) and don't want to have a custom bronze plate made for you...it's a good product...








4) Finally, whatever your choice here....I recommend using Penetrox-A conductive grease on the connection surfaces (copper strap, nuts and washers, etc.)...this is specifically designed for preserve/improve metal-to-metal conductivity, especially for dissimilar metals....as well as provides a great way to keep the connection from corroding, etc...(it is not s sealant, but a grease...so it is messy...but it works very well....I've been using it for > 30 years on-board and on-shore....)
You can buy it at DX Engineering, etc. and in many electrical supply houses, etc...
DX Engineering Penetrox A Anti-Oxidants DXE-P8A - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at DX Engineering







5) I gave up arguing about the KISS here on Cruiser's Forum last year...sorry...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
I am still on the fence about the KISS grounding system,
But, I will make an exception here and just write one quick sentence....PLEASE don't waste the $$$, as if you decide to accept a mediocre RF ground system, you can make you own counterpoise that will work better than the KISS, with just a few scrap pieces of wire....no BS here, scientifically proven...
"KISS-SSB Counterpoise"
http://www.ssca.org/forum/viewtopic....13490&start=75




6) If you're asking this, you probably have Marelon thru-hulls...
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
but I am curious as to the setup of the bronze through-hull ground. Is it basically the size of a depth transducer? I would rather do that than have a big bronze plate on the bottom of my hull.
On a cruising boat, there is NO negative impact at all from using an external bronze plate / Dynaplate!!! (on an America's Cup race boat, where even a dull finish on the hull would be an excuse for losing a race, a Dynaplate would never be accepted.....but look at the pictures and you'll see that it does not add any drag to the boat!!)
How/where does the sea water come into your boat (for engine cooling, head intake, etc.)???
Are these thru-hulls bronze???
Are they, or is one of them, within 6' of where you're mounting/installing your remote antenna tuner???

Or, is there a central "sea chest" that is too far away from the remote antenna tuner, and/or would be difficult to attach the copper strapping to??? (and therefor an external bronze plate mounted closer to the tuner WOULD BE a good set-up...)




I hope this helps...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 12-03-2014, 19:41   #125
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

I'm pretty sure that the through-hulls I have are all Marelon. I am going to complete the survey on Monday when the boat is out of the water, and I'll check all of the through-hulls then. I will also be hauling the boat when I get to NC to perform all of the installations as well.

I guess I'll worry about this situation more when I get the boat to NC and have the opportunity to really get in and analyze what I'm going to need.

The good thing is, the backstay, lazarette and nav. station are all on the port aft section, so I am pretty sure it will be beneficial when mounting all of the hardware to keep cable lengths to a minimum.
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Old 13-03-2014, 21:24   #126
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Quick thought: if I were to have a Frigoboat or Isotherm refrigeration system, which uses a bronze through-hull/plate on the bottom of the hull, could I use that as my RF ground as well? Just thinking out loud.

Made it to New Bern tonight, just checked into the hotel. Going to swing by Sailcraft Service tomorrow in Oriental and scope things out.
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Old 17-03-2014, 15:48   #127
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40



Boat launch is scheduled for Wednesday.
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Old 17-03-2014, 18:10   #128
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Ka4wja,
As a lurker on this thread I have to compliment you on your willingness to share. I have learned a lot reading your posts, along with other ones you have put up, and appreciate the time you put in sharing your experience, so that others might benefit.
Thanks
Bill
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Old 17-03-2014, 20:21   #129
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post


Boat launch is scheduled for Wednesday.
Save your money on that refrigeration systemů

Mark
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Old 17-03-2014, 20:53   #130
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

David,
The answer here is, NO....
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDabs View Post
Quick thought: if I were to have a Frigoboat or Isotherm refrigeration system, which uses a bronze through-hull/plate on the bottom of the hull, could I use that as my RF ground as well? Just thinking out loud.

And, on a side note, I think you'll find that with "normal sized" boxes, an air-cooled Danfoss system (such as AB Cold Machine, etc.) will be just as efficient as a keel-cooler system in the warm water tropics....


As I wrote earlier, you asked a LOT of questions, about a LOT of systems, in one thread....and again, I think you'd be better off asking these specific questions, regarding specific systems (refrigeration, etc.), in their own thread, with an appropriate title...

This would give you more access to those with experience in these areas, that might not read the "Marine Electronics" forum....(such as Richard Kollmann, the "MAN" of marine refrigeration...)



Fair winds...

John
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Old 17-03-2014, 21:04   #131
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Bill,
You're very welcome..
Quote:
Originally Posted by muttskie View Post
Ka4wja,
As a lurker on this thread I have to compliment you on your willingness to share. I have learned a lot reading your posts, along with other ones you have put up, and appreciate the time you put in sharing your experience, so that others might benefit.
Thanks
Bill

Sometimes I ramble on a bit too much and border on adding confusion to the knowledge....
And, once-in-a-while I go off on a rant (usually brought on by one of my peeves)...
But, I'm glad to hear that you enjoy my posts...

BTW, I have taught seminars in radiowave propagation, antenna system design and choice, radio operating techniques/procedures, etc. as well as alt. energy systems, batteries, etc...
(also volunteer-taught 13yr old kids, 8th grade career planning, educational choices, business education, finance, credit, etc. for years)
But, as I have had significant family issues that have kept me close-by (and usually just sitting around for hours at a time), rambling away on-line fills the void a bit...


Fair winds.

John
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Old 17-03-2014, 22:05   #132
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

John, thanks, and yeah I thought about breaking it up, but didn't want to have like 5 different threads going. It's quite alright, all of the info I've collected in this thread is awesome! I will keep learning more as I go. To the Mods - maybe it is better from now on if we change the title to "Complete Outfit - Caliber 40" and move it to the re-fit forum? Just a thought. I will use this thread to keep posting more as soon as I get to the yard.

Mark, haha yeah! I cannot wait to get the boat out of here as soon as possible!
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Old 19-03-2014, 15:51   #133
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40



She's in the water!!!
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Old 19-03-2014, 16:10   #134
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Congratulations, good luck with the next steps and the refit.

Fair winds.
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Old 20-03-2014, 19:09   #135
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Re: Complete Electronics Outfit - Caliber 40

Thanks.

Completed my first project today on the boat- right after I signed the final papers of the contract, I had to install 3 new batteries. I crawled down into the lazarette and started unscrewing everything and had a moment of realization: "wow, this is it! I'm finally sitting here doing work on my boat!" Great, great moment. Well I plan on leaving Rock Hall, MD tomorrow morning and heading to Annapolis for the first night of the journey.

David
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